The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2024

74 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL IN MEMORY n Caryle Cammisa, 66, a retired USAID Foreign Service officer, died on Oct. 4, 2023, in Tampa, Fla., following a 17-year battle with multiple myeloma. Ms. Cammisa was born on May 22, 1957, in Derby, Conn. She began her professional life as a social worker in Philadelphia before joining USAID in 2000. She served in Georgia, Romania, Bangladesh, Kenya, Yemen, Jordan, and Washington, D.C., before retiring in 2020. In retirement, she lived in Tampa, where she was an active volunteer with the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club, and was an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. During her lifetime, Ms. Cammisa displayed an unfaltering strength and conviction that was an inspiration to all who knew her. During her career, she was a champion of the children’s television show “Sesame Street” and persuaded the Children’s Television Workshop to consider the potential of such a show in Bangladesh (“Sisimpur”). Its first episode aired in 2005. Ms. Cammisa also worked to identify “leakage” of U.S. food aid resources. She pushed to shut down Romania’s worst orphanages and helped identify and disconnect prostitute recruitment links to child welfare websites. She initiated youth, gender, and conflict assessments to better inform urgent conflict programming, and mobilized experts to create model conflict environment evaluation and monitoring tools. Beyond her passion for doing good, she also was a thoughtful strategist and master of resources, shaping dozens of country and regional strategies, establishing budget processes, and caring for colleagues and staff. She was proud of being a USAID officer. Ms. Cammisa is survived by her devoted daughter, Natalie; her mother, Kathryn Cammisa; siblings Kathee Cammisa, Joe Cammisa, and Laurie Green; three nieces; a nephew; and two grandnephews. n Evelyn Speyer Colbert, 104, a former national intelligence officer for Asia and deputy assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, died on Jan. 4, 2023, in Mitchellville, Md. Ms. Speyer was born in New York City on July 6, 1918. She majored in history at Barnard College, graduating in 1938, and then began a graduate program in the public law department of Columbia University. She married a fellow student, James L. Colbert, and in 1942 the couple moved to Washington, D.C., where she was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) as a Japan analyst. While working for OSS, she completed her Ph.D., publishing her dissertation, Retaliation in International Law, in 1948. She also published The Left Wing in Japanese Politics in 1952. The OSS Research and Analysis Branch was transferred to the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in 1945, and Dr. Colbert became deeply involved in the preparation of national intelligence surveys. In 1962 she became chief of the Southeast Asia Division and then deputy director of the Office of Research and Analysis for East Asia. She later learned, to her delight, that a succession of New Zealand’s embassy officers who maintained liaison with INR during her tenure had become known as “Evelyn’s boys.” In 1972 Dr. Colbert received a fellowship to the Brookings Institution and, while there, wrote a postwar diplomatic history of Southeast Asia. It was published by Cornell University Press in 1977 as Southeast Asia in International Politics, 1941-1956. In 1974 she was detailed to the Central Intelligence Agency as a national intelligence officer. When Admiral Stansfield Turner attempted in early 1977 to override portions of the intelligence community’s assessment of North Korea, Dr. Colbert exercised her reemployment rights and returned to State as policy planning coordinator in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In April 1978, Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrooke made her a deputy assistant secretary, with responsibility for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. She and the volatile Holbrooke generally got along well, but she recalled: “When Dick would shout at me, as he would at other people, I could say, ‘Dick, you shouldn’t talk to me that way. Remember, I’m three years older than your mother!’” Dr. Colbert retired in 1980. A colleague remembers her combination of fierce intelligence and genuine warmth, which earned deep respect and real affection. In retirement, Dr. Colbert spent 20 years teaching at the Foreign Service Institute and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and working at the Carnegie Endowment. She published The Pacific Islands: Paths to the Present in 1997. A longtime member of AFSA and of Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR), she was the oldest member of the Far East Luncheon Group, an organization of East Asia hands established during World War II. Dr. Colbert was predeceased by her husband and their son. She is survived by her daughter, Alison. n Robert (Bob) Tallon Dakan, 84, a retired USAID Senior Foreign Service officer and career mentor, passed away